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February 24, 1984 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-02-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


When Will Mike Wallace Give Israel a Break?

Near Last Report

Listen to Mike Wallace,
the CBS correspondent, on
Syria. "There are Syrians
still alive today who can
remember when there was
no Jordan, no Lebanon,
surely no Israel. Those
states are 20th century cre-
ations, carved out of a
once-vast area here in the
eastern Mediterranean that
historians call Greater
That was Wallace on the
Jan. 8 edition of "60 Min-
utes." Wallace, of course,
was wrong. Modern Syria is
as much a 20th Century
creation as Jordan. Leba-
non, and Israel — they all
won independence in the
1940's. As to ancient Syria,
it did exist thousands of
years ago. However, it does
not predate ancient Israel
— which, as every child
knows, existed as a Jewish
state 1,000 years before the
birth of Christ.
But there is no need to re-
cite ancient history to rebut
Wallace's falsehoods. The
question is: why is Mike
Wallace so obsessed with Is-
rael that he is led to defend
even the Syrians? What is it
about Israel — or about
Mike Wallace — that has
brought him to the point
where he will provide free
public relations services to
Hafez Assad's Syria — one
of the great human rights

violators on the planet?
That sounds like a
rough indictment. But
look at the record. In 1975
Mike Wallace did a "60
Minutes" segment on the
condition of Jews in
Syria. Wallace concluded
his report with the news
that "today, life for
Syria's Jews is better
than it was in years past."
This ridiculous statement
about the terrified and
terrorized Jewish com-
munity in Syria caused a
sensation. In fact, Wal-
lace felt compelled to do a
second segment on Sy-
rian Jews, one in which
he tried to back away
from his earlier pro-
Syrian report.
But Wallace didn't learn
much from that episode. In
his Jan. 8 report, he mouths
Syrian propaganda as if he
were a member of the
Ba'ath party's young lead-
ership group.
Wallace on Lebanon:
"One thing Syria wants in
Lebanon is a government
more representative of all
the peoples of that country,
like the Lebanese Druze, a
small Moslem sect who live
in the Shouf Mountains
above Beirut." Of course,
that is what they want,
Mike. Syria is well-known
for its commitment to equal
representation for
minorities. (However,. that
does not apply to Syria itself

Right-Wing Dutch Leader
Resigns Township Post

One of the two municipal
councillors of the new town-
ship of "Almere," some 20
kilometers east of Amster-
dam, publicly resigned last
week as a member of the
council from the right-wing
Centrum Party.
The man, Bernard Fresco,
is a baptized Jew and in his
televised resignation called
himself "a Christian Jew."
Fresco, who had also been a
member of the Centrum
Party executive and repor-
tedly had a good chance of
being nominated as a can-
didate for Parliament from
the party, said that only
now had his eyes been
opened to the Fascist and
Racialist characteristics of
his party. He said he would
however, retain his seat in

the Municipal council as an
individual member.
Fresco, who is a
homeopath by profession,
spent some time in Israel
several years ago as a
Christian missionary. The
Centrum Party is largely a
one-issue party, which op-
posed the large-scale
presence in Holland of hun-
dreds of thousands of Turks
and Moroccans and
In the municipal elections
of Almere some months ago,
it received almot 10 percent
of the votes and was there-
fore entitled to two Seats.
The installation of these
two Centrum Party mem-
bers, including Fresco just a
month ago, was the scene of
disturbances by oppon ats
of the party.

which is a dictatorship run
by the tiny group that sur-
rounds Hafez Assad.)
Wallace on Israel: "Noth-
ing affronts Syrian dignity
and pride more than the fact
that Israel has Syrian land,
the Golan Heights, and the
Syrians want it back."
That's right, Mike. But how
did the Israelis get "Syrian
land?" Was it in an Israeli
war of aggression or did Is-
rael capture the Golan
Heights after Syria at-
tacked Israel from the
Heights in 1967?

Wallace on Syria's go-
als: "So what does Syria
want? ... What they
want, above all, now from
Washington, they say, is
more attention to even-
handedness — as sym-
pathetic a hearing for Sy-
rian views as Washington
now gives to Israel. Only
on that basis, says
Damascus, can real pro-
gress toward real peace
be made here in the Mid-
dle East."
Wallace almost moves his
listener to empathy with
and sympathy for the Sy-
rians. After all, why
shouldn't they get the same
treatment from Washing-
ton that Israel does? Listen
hard, Mike. The reason the
United States supports Is-
rael is (1) because Israel is a
democracy and (2) because
Israel is a consistent Ameri-
can ally.
Syria, on the other hand,
is a repressive police state
that is allied with the Soviet
Union. You might as well
ask why America gives
more favorable treatment to
Australia than it gives to
So what is Wallace's prob-
lem? Is he ignorant of Mid-

dle East reality or is it
something more convoluted
than that? After all, Mike
Wallace is Jewish.
Does he feel that he has
to bend over backwards
to prove that he is no
secret Zionist? If that is
what concerns him, he
can relax. No one thinks
of him as a Zionist or even
as a reporter who is sym-
pathetic to Jewish
people. No one will ever
accuse him of any form of
identification with Israel.
He's off the hook.
So how about a little fair
reporting, Mike. Just once,
show that the Israelis have
a case too. You can do it.
After all, if Egypt can make
peace with Israel, surely
you can.

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1984 MS. pp44

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Friday, February 24, 1984 25



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